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Friday, December 14, 2001

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St. John of the Cross

Isaiah 48:17-19
Psalm 1
Matthew 11:16-19

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an isaiah-advent

"Thus says the Lord, your Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel: I, the Lord, your God, teach you what is for your good, and lead you on the way you should go." —Isaiah 48:17

The Church in its wisdom calls us each Advent to read, hear, pray, and apply the prophecies of Isaiah. He is the great prophet of the Incarnation (see Is 7:14; 9:5-6). Yet he proclaims the Lord's utter transcendence and holiness (see Is 6:3ff; 55:8). He prophesies concerning Immanuel (Is 7:14) and the Suffering Servant, Who is the Messiah (Is 42:1ff; 49:1ff; 50:4ff; and 52:13ff). Isaiah is also the prophet of the Holy Spirit (see Is 11:2; 61:1). In addition to Advent, the Church proclaims the prophet Isaiah on Christmas, in Lent, and at Easter Vigil because the Lord continues to speak through Isaiah especially at the most important times of our lives.

Therefore, spend the next eleven days before Christmas prayerfully reading and applying Isaiah's prophecies. We are tempted to do many things before Christmas which have proven in past Advents to distract us from the true meaning of Christmas rather than prepare us to meet Christ. If you read and live Isaiah's prophecies, you will not be disappointed this Christmas (see Is 49:23). An Isaiah-Advent leads us to Christ at Christmas.

Prayer:  Father, may the prophecies of Isaiah burn in my heart and purify me (see Lk 24:32).

Promise:  "The Lord watches over the way of the just, but the way of the wicked vanishes." —Ps 1:6

Praise:  St. John was especially devoted to the Jesus as the Suffering Servant.

Nihil Obstat:  Reverend Robert L. Hagedorn, May 30, 2001

Imprimatur:  †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, June 4, 2001